Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Book Review: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
'The Great Gatsby' written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published in 1925. The story is of the year 1922 and characters of this story live in the town of West Egg of the prosperous Long Island. Jay Gatsby is a young millionaire (born in a poor family) with mysterious quixotic passion for the beautiful woman Daisy Buchanan. The story explores the social change with decadence, idealism, resistance to change and excesses. It creates a portrait of the Jazz Age or the Roaring Twenties. 

My Review:
I can never tell when I read this book whether Nick Carraway truly liked Gatsby at times, or whether he was silently judging him.

The Great Gatsby begins with Nick arriving from the Midwest and reaqauinting himself with his distant cousin, Daisy and her husband. He doesn't yet know Gatsby but soon he will meet him and be drawn into Gastby's fantastical world where everything is fun and nothing is serious. 

But Gatsby has an ulterior motive - he's been in love with Daisy for years and wishes to see her again. As the dominoes begin to fall into place a deadly chain of events will be set off and Nick's life and the way he sees the world will never be the same again. 

The Great Gatsby is a classic for a reason. It has beautiful lines and a glittering, inviting world that you wish to be a part of. Goodreads and Amazon describe this book as a cautionary tale about the Jazz Era but I don't think Fitzgerald meant it that way at all. I think, in a way, The Great Gatsby was autobiographical to him. The wild parties were part of a lifestyle I'm sure he was accustomed to and perhaps he saw himself in Gatsby and his wife, Zelda, in Daisy; their difference in social stations and ill fated end mirroring and a premonition of his and Zelda's ultimate parting. 

Gatsby is my favorite character in this book for his unwavering hopefulness. He truly believed if he made himself into something that he would finally obtain the love of the woman he's infatuated with. Nick, as I said before, I'm not sure about. He seems to like and care about Gatsby at times but at others it's like he's judging him from not coming from the same world as himself and Daisy and Tom. Daisy comes off as an air headed, absentminded fool who as we learn doesn't truly care about anyone but herself and how society perceives her. Tom is the very same way, possibly showing us a glimpse of the rich in that era. I've never truly liked the character of Jordan Baker, she's so wishy-washy. Gatsby is alright as long as he's providing her with entertainment but ultimately she judges him too when she learns of his background and lack of good breeding. And Mrs. Wilson (who's first name eludes me  at the moment) is both yet another victim of the destructive tornado that is Daisy and Tom Buchanan and a cruel woman in her own right. Her husband was just a simple minded fool who loved his wife and became a pawn - a means to an end to get rid of Gatsby in the end. 

Overall, I really like this book. The parties and Gatsby's dizzying, carefree world are well set and the story is well plotted. 

My Rating
4 of 5 Stars! 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review: Riot by Jamie Shaw

Riot (Mayhem #2) by Jamie Shaw
When Dee Dawson meets sexy mohawked guitarist Joel Gibbon, she knows it won't be long before she has him wrapped around her finger. No guy has ever been able to resist her … but Dee's met her match in a player like Joel.

Dee's not the relationship type—not after seeing the pain "love" has caused her friends and family—yet she's desperate to make Joel want her more than anyone else. He quickly becomes an obsession, and when a reckless attempt to make him jealous ends in disaster, Dee turns into the damsel in distress she never wanted to be. With her carefree world crashing down around her, the last thing she needs is Joel's pity.

But Joel is suddenly determined to prove he cares, and no matter how hard Dee tries to push him away, he refuses to let her shut him out. Now the girl who swore she'd never say those three little words must choose between guarding her heart and losing Joel forever … or falling head over heels for the tattooed rock star of her dreams.

My Review:
Riot is book two in the Mayhem series and is about Dee Dawson (Rowan's best friend from book one) and Joel Gibbon (Adam's band mate). 

Dee likes playing games with guys. She gets them to fall for her and then breaks their hearts, vowing to never fall in love after witnessing her parent's disastrous split when she was 11. Falling in love is all wrong, it just sets you up to get hurt. Luckily for her sexy rocker Joel loves playing the field and isn't looking for a relationship. But when a plan to make Joel jealous backfires and makes Dee more vulnerable than ever Joel begins to see Dee in a different light. Suddenly he wants more than casual hookups with her and it scares Dee. 

Can Dee allow herself to love Joel back? Or will she let the love and happiness she always thought she never wanted slip through her fingers? 

I really, really liked Riot - although not as much as Mayhem. Don't get me wrong, the story was great, I still love the band and their friends, and the sex scenes were oh-so-steamy. I just didn't really like Dee. She actually drove me nuts. 

The way Dee felt about falling in love and not letting people get close to her was really sad and it made her seem like a cold-hearted b****. I know she had a raw deal with her mom - but Joel had it worse and he still wanted to give things a chance between them. 

That was the other thing I wish we could have seen more of in this book - Dee contacting and having it out with her mom once and for all. I also wonder why Joel would return to his mom's place after all that she put him through.

Overall, this book was a fun, quick, sexy read perfect for fans of rock star romance. I adore the secondary characters like Leti - he reminds me of Lafayette in True Blood for some reason - and seeing more of Adam and Rowan after book one ended was great. I love this series and I can't wait to see what's in store for Shawn and Kit in book three!

My Rating: 
4.5 of 5 Stars!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Book Review: Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

My Review:
Caraval took me much longer to finish than I expected. As one of the most anticipated releases of 2017 everyone kept telling me how amazing this book was and how I absolutely needed to read it. 

When I started reading I wasn't sure I would finish reading Caraval. As a heroine I found Scarlett annoying at the beginning of this book. She's so afraid of her father that she's forgotten entirely how to be young and have fun. I also didn't like Tella. She was reckless and stupid where Scarlett was overly cautious and too prim. 

I admit, I set this book down. Then I decided to give the audiobook a try and this review will also be part-review of the audiobook. Quickly I will comment on that - this was my first time listening to an audiobook and I enjoyed listening to this story but I found the narrator's voice to be annoying, especially when she tried to throw her voice to sound like Julian, Scarlett, or Tella when she spoke. It made Scarlett sound air-headed and stupid and Julian sound like a sarcastic drug cartel member (haha).

Back to the book - it wasn't until Julian and Scarlett went to the clock shop that I really became interested in the story. It was the main selling point on why I bought the audiobook after listening to an extended excerpt I got when I got this book from OwlCrate in February. I needed to hear more about this dazzling world of Caraval. But it wasn't until Chapter 20 that I really felt like I fell in love with this story. 

The world of Caraval is extraordinary and the author's imagination is astounding! I only wish there really were a place like Caraval. The colors, the people, the sights are all described flawlessly and I could easily picture them in my head as I listened to the story night after night. 

I loved Julian from the beginning, he was the perfect love interest - loyal, protective, saucy, and just frustrating enough that you wanted to shake him until you found out all of his secrets. 

As I neared the ending of this book I kept guessing right along with Scarlett as to how the game would end. Would she be able to save her sister? And just who was the mysterious Legend? Did we meet him during the book and not realize it?

Overall, I enjoyed this book, more so after the halfway point of the book. Caraval is truly unlike any other book. The worldbuilding is fantastic, probably my favorite part of the book overall. It just shines - incomparable to anything else! I know there is going to be a second book, as the ending hinted at more of an adventure for Tella to come, but I can't see the author doing anything more with Julian and Scarlett as main characters. Their story seemed tied up with no loose ends and I hope the author doesn't mess with that.

My Rating:
4 of 5 Stars! 

Saturday, July 22, 2017

#BookTag Saturday: The Bookstore Book Tag

This Saturday I'm sitting inside avoiding the rain, heat, and humidity to share this week's #BookTag Saturday post. This week I'm tackling...

Book Tag Originally Found On: Basically Britt's Booktube

1. The beginning of your trip you walk into a bookstore and you instantly feel happy: 
Name a book that has the perfect beginning

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. This book grabbed me by the front of my shirt and held onto me from the first sentence

2. That sad moment when they don't have the book you were looking for:
Name a book that made you bawl your eyes out

Just an Illusion: EP by D. Kelly. Bring tissues! Bring chocolate! Bring vodka! You're going to need it! 

3. That moment you're just looking around and find a random book that just speaks to you:
Name a hidden gem

Trust by Kylie Scott - such a fantastic book! I can't gush about it enough!

4. That moment you finally find the book that you were looking for:
Name a book that you've waited months and months for to be released

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas - not sure I've anticipated a book that much EVER!

5. That moment you see a book with a gorgeous cover and you just have to have it:
Name a book you bought purely because of it's cover

Uprooted by Naomi Norvik - Plus I needed more yellow books for my Bookstagram!

6. That moment you have to pay a lot of money for your books but still feel very happy you finally have them:
Name a book that made you suffer, but you were still happy about it

Paper Princess by Erin Watt - plus Broken Prince & Twisted Palace. They're not kidding when the book says "these Royals will ruin you!"

7. Walking out of the bookstore feeling super happy and excited:
Name a book with the perfect ending

The Architect of Song by A. G. Howard - I like how it all came together! 

Friday, July 21, 2017

#BookMail #29

This week's book mail post is a day late but not necessarily a dollar short (unless you count the dollars in my checking account!). My mailbox this week contained...

My Half Price Books Order:
- Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
- Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
- The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich

My Book Outlet Order:
- Unforgiven by Lauren Kate

I didn't realize when I ordered from Half Price Books that The Dead House, Stalking Jack the Ripper, and Defy the Stars were all ARCs but it's really cool that they are! I can't wait to read them. (Or reread in the case of The Dead House!)

July Still-Waiting-On:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Ravenclaw Edition by J.K. Rowling (from Book Depository)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cover Reveal: HARD WOOD by Lauren Blakely

   Earlier this morning I shared with you the cover reveal for a YA series, now I'm sharing with you the cover of something a little more... sexier. I'm pleased to help InkSlinger PR and Lauren Blakely reveal the cover of her upcoming novel, HARD WOOD! Are you ready to see this drool-worthy cover?

HARD WOOD is coming October 23, 2017! A standalone romance told from the male Point-of-View, HARD WOOD is the final hot and hilarious book in the Big Rock series. Pre-order your copy today! Kindle users—stay tuned for the pre-order right before release! And don’t miss the hot, new cover below!

Cover Design by Helen Williams with Photography by Wander Aguiar Photography


Women often say a good man is hard to find. And a hard man is even better.

That’s why I’m quite a catch— good, hard, loaded, and wait for it…I’m ready to settle down too. But the woman I want to pitch my tent with is precisely the one I need to stay far away from.

After that fantastic night with Mia Summers, I’m ready to give her many more. But there’s a hitch in my plans — she just hired my company. If there’s one thing I’m committed to, it’s running a squeaky clean adventure tour business. One of the iron-clad rules?

Don’t screw your customers.

I can follow my own guidelines. After all, it’s only a week-long trip with Mia and her employees over the trails and down the hills I guide them on. I can obey the rules—even if it’s hard in the woods.

I’m about to give myself a badge of honor when the storm of the century hits, sending everyone else running for cover, but us—my biggest temptation and me, alone for a long weekend. You don’t screw the client, especially when you’re already in love with her . . .

But what’s a guy to do when she’s so hard to resist?



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Kindle Preorder alert (via Lauren's newsletter)


        About Lauren Blakely:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she's sold more than 2 million books. In September, she'll release MOST VALUABLE PLAYBOY, a standalone sports romance. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! laurenblakely.com/newsletter    

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Cover Reveal: The Lilituria Prophecy by Grace White

This week I'm helping Grace White, author of the Lilituria Prophecy Trilogy, reveal the new covers of her series. You're going to love these gorgeous new covers...

 The Lilituria Prophecy Cover Reveal 

In the run up to the release of the concluding book in the YA Paranormal Romance trilogy, The Lilituria Prophecy by Grace White, the series has been given fresh new look.


For Daiya Cattiva, turning eighteen is a nightmare come true. Once she Awakens, her body will no longer be her own, and she will thirst for physical connection—need it to survive. But the bond is only temporary, and Daiya will be forced to satiate the demon inside her, time and time again. For that is the burden of the Lilituria.

But Daiya doesn’t want to hurt anyone—especially not the cute guy in class, with his annoying charm and fervent persistence. Staying away from Kai Stanton is the smart thing to do. The only choice she has. But when she loses control and kisses him, everything changes, and Daiya knows their connection is deeper than just fleeting lust.

Determined to uncover the truth, Daiya finds herself at the heart of an ancient prophecy that could alter the balance of good and evil forever.

She was never supposed to fall in love, but their love will change everything.



available in Kindle Unlimited

Book #1: Awaken

Book #2: Allure

Book #3 Ascension

**coming Sept 7th**


Daiya Cattiva knew loving Kai Stanton had the power to change everything—she just didn’t realize how much.
 In the aftermath of feeding from Kai, Daiya struggles with guilt, and doubt over the prophecy. But as the Dei Venatores begin to close in, time for Daiya and the Lilituria starts to run out. She knows her personal feelings must be put aside for the greater good, and, with the help of an unexpected ally, she embarks on a journey that uncovers who she really is. But all truth comes at a price. One she isn't sure she's willing to pay.
 The lines between good and evil have redrawn ... but will love prevail?


Grace White is the paranormal pseudonym of romance writer, L A Cotton.

She resides in the UK with her family, and lives for binge watching series on her Firestick, losing herself in a good book, and reliving her younger days through trashy teenage movies ... not necessarily in that order.